Letter – An existential masterpiece

Re: “Unmeaningful pretension,” Letters, June 30-July 6

An existential masterpiece

Re: “Unmeaningful pretension,” Letters, June 30-July 6

I’ve had my disagreements with Robert Moyes over the years, but regarding Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” the Monday film critic nails it, whereas Monday reader Stephen Potter doesn’t even see the nail, much less hit it. I doubt Potter is even equipped with a hammer could he locate the nail.

Put aside the fact “Tree of Life,” winner of the prestigious Palme D’Or at Cannes, has received praise from just about every film critic who matters. The fact is, Malick, who puts about 10 years worth of thought and consideration into a single film, is about as far from the “flatland of star-addled Hollywood” as a director could get, and “Tree of Life” is refreshingly indicative of this fact. This film, in my humble view, is an existential masterpiece of subtle, yet profound proportions, which may be a bit too weighty for Potter, who sees only “shallow pretension.”

As for the claim of “meaningless art,” what did he hope for in a Malick film? More superheroes, car explosions, indiscriminate violence, Jackass stunts in 3D, comic books on the big screen and saccharine plot formula? “Tree of Life” requires one to actually think for a change at the cinema.  Malick’s filmmaking style is unique, akin to visual poetry, which I concede may numb today’s attention-deficit, blockbuster movie-goers.

Great works of art have always effectively divided an audience, creating the conditions for debate and dialectical ferment. The dividing lines are often many, but one of those lines is between those who get it and those who do not.

Peter Tolman,Victoria

Just Posted

Musical joy emerges from fiddling and singing

Joy of Life Festival at Alix Goolden Hall on May 3 and 4 offers both for audiences

Fearing is loving life in West Coast La La Land

Award-winning blues-folk guitarist singer/songwriter playing Sidney show on May 3

KATHY KAY: Online streaming service provides a winning drama

Mozart in the Jungle offers up delightful entertainment, reviewer writes

Making a career out of poking fun at life’s frustrating moments

Respected comic Derek Edwards brings homegrown Canadian act to Sidney on May 30

National Geographic Live takes a journey to red planet

Guest speaker Kobie Boykins from NASA offers insider’s view of Mars explorations May 8

Just looking, or buying? You can find that perfect art piece at Sidney show

Saanich Peninsula Arts and Crafts Society holding Spring Show April 27-28 at Mary Winspear Centre

Peninsula grandmothers salute Roaring ’20s fashion

May 3 event in Sidney benefits Grandmothers Helping African Grandmothers

Belmont secondary’s student-run bistro experiences opening-day rush

Culinary students serving up affordable lunches to fellow classmates

Sooke Community Choir offers up #modernlove

Sooke concerts run from May 3 to 5

Stephen Fearing brings unique style to concert series

Fearing will play Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Sooke on April 27

Most Read